278 BRITISH SECRET SERVICE PRAISED Amongst these, I admit only two exceptions : François-Poncet and Böttscher—the only ones who ruled the roost. Men like Abetz will always be regarded as amateurs by the careerists. The Dutch representative was a man who knew what he was about. He worked hard, and he gave his Government valuable information. The Belgian, he was a dwarf! As for the Swiss, he did his daily dozen, sent a report every day. To say what? God preserve me from such bureaucrats ! I rack my brains wondering how to improve our diplomacy. On the one hand, one would like to keep men for a long time at the same post, so that the experience they acquire may be of use to them—knowledge of the language, and of local customs. On the other hand, one would like to prevent them from sinking into a rut. What is one to do? Probably the English have the best system. Besides their official representatives, they have a great number of spies. It would be very useful to me at this moment, for example, to be informed concerning the importance of the opposition in England, to know who belongs to it. As it is, all I know on this subject is what I've learnt by reading the newspapers ! Besides, can't I learn from my diplomats what Washington has in store? 135 2nd February 1942, evening Importance of coal and iron—Superiority of American technique—Production and unemployment—Economy of labour—The defeat of stagnation. We must achieve higher yields of coal and steel—the rest will follow automatically. Why are some countries industrialised, and others not? There are permanent reasons for that. France, for example, has always suffered from lack of coal, and that's why she has never been a great industrial Power. The opposite example is that of Great Britain. With us, it's the same. Here everything is based on coal and iron. Hitherto we haven't reached our ceiling in any field of industry. It's not until we've solved the problem of the raw
US AND GERMAN INDUSTRY 279 materials that we'll be able to have our factories giving 100 per cent production, thanks to ceaselessly alternating shifts. Another factor with which we should reckon is the simplification and improvement of processes of manufacture, with the object of economising on raw material. The mere fact of reducing by two-thirds the wastage in manufacture entails an economy of transport that is far from being negligible. Thus the improvements made in manufacture help to solve the vital transport problem. The great success of the Americans consists essentially in the fact that they produce quantitatively as much as we do with two-thirds less labour. We've always been hypnotised by the slogan: "the craftsmanship of the German worker". We tried to persuade ourselves that we could thus achieve an unsurpassable result. That's merely a bluff of which we ourselves are the victims. A gigantic modern press works with a precision that necessarily outclasses manual labour. American cars, for example, are made with the least possible use of human labour. The first German manufacture of the sort will be the Volkswagen. In this respect, we are far behind the Americans. Moreover, they build far more lightly than we do. A car of ours that weighs eighteen hundred kilos would weigh only a thousand if made by the Americans. It was reading Ford's books that opened my eyes to these matters. In the 'twenties the Ford used to cost about two hundred and fifty-five dollars, whilst the least expensive of our cars, the little Opel, cost four thousand six hundred marks. In America everything is machine-made, so that they can employ the most utter cretins in their factories. Their workers have no need of specialised training, and are therefore interchangeable. We must encourage and develop the manufacture of machinetools. The prejudice has for a long time prevailed that such practices would inexorably lead to an increase in unemployment. That's actually true only if the population's standard of living is not raised. Originally, all men were cultivators. Each of them produced everything he needed, and nothing else. In the degree to which methods were improved, men were set free from working on the soil and could thereafter devote themselves
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Magazine: Adolf Hitler's Table Talk-1941-1944